The 365 Commitment

Moral Sentiment

Interestingly enough, Adam Smith the supposed founder of modern economics wrote his first book with this title, “The Theory of Moral Sentiments.” It was in this book he argued that the invisible hand guides society. Free markets, have a strong tendency to regulate themselves using competition, supply and demand and good ol fashioned greed. This was not an economic theory, it was a philosophical argument.

To bring this argument to topical relevancy. There is a lot of discussion about gender gaps in our society. There is a compelling argument that the invisible hand would tend to guide companies to hire more women and pay them well to keep them as they represent 50% of the population. It is just not good business to alienate half the population. Eventually women will and have shown that they will, vote with their pocket books.

We can try to force the invisible hand to perhaps move faster, but usually what happens is that we cause unintended damage in that objective and things get worse and not better. The core of this is tied to a system of justice. The moral sentiment of Mr. Smith was to have a framework designed to protect and promote fair competition. Unfortunately, people get alternative ideas of systems of justice. I wonder sometimes as I get bombarded with political messages all day from different ideologies if we perhaps we should focus on fairness once again. Let the correct and true principles win out in a free and open market place of ideas.


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